(Image credit: Tess Wilson)

After having 10 of us here over the course of 6 days, I'm home alone for the first time, and finally have a chance to survey the damage: the massive amount of recycling has been taken out and we've finally caught up on dishes, but there's still confetti-covered carpeting and piles of presents that need a home..

Our holidays were comprised of a 10-hour drive to my grandparents' farm (we left immediately after work to evade an incoming ice storm), a marathon but totally lovely hosting session, a few days of work interspersed amongst the festivities, and a New Year's Day spent exhausted on the couch (except for the vigorous hour of snow shoveling). Now that we're back to work full-time and have a moment to breathe, the amount of work left to do becomes apparent. The floor is in desperate need of a wash (or two), the bathrooms need a serious scrubbing, all of the guest sheets need to be washed — all in addition to the usual weekly household chores.

And what of our new, lovely gifts? We're lucky not just to have been given gifts, but to live in a house-sized house with a little room to spare — but the putting-away-of-the-presents is still a challenge. The sweet outdoorsy gifts — croquet set, apple picker, tennis racket, frog net, tackle box, homemade giant Jenga set! — can't be put in the garage for fear of being damaged by the predicted -21ºF weather, so they remain in the living room. My new cake stand is as large as it is exciting, so a complete cupboard makeover will be necessary to squeeze it in. Two amazing works of art await framing, and there's no room on the admittedly too-small bookshelf for all of our new field guides.

There's also a pile of gifts yet to be wrapped, in preparation for a late celebration with my immediate family, and Christmas decorations everywhere that I am not prepared to deal with. I can never fathom how people can take down their tree and pack up their garland and lights the day after Christmas — I'm so tired! It's so pretty! — so I guess I'll have to make my peace with the fact that our home is going to remain a bit of a festive mess for a little while longer.

What shape is your home in? Totally back to neat and normal, or happily disheveled?